Such a heavy story for an early morning. I’ll try to break it down.
In the previous chapters we witnessed God’s unwavering love for the Israelites. No matter how much Balak tried, God would not let Balaam curse Israel. We saw Balaam’s transformation as well.
Next chapter we see the Israelites… turning away from God. They were tempted, they gave in, got hooked, then forgot about God. The God who freed them from slavery, who provided for them in the dessert, who promised a plentiful and abundant land, who showed great wonders, who gave them great victories.
We are so helpless.
Second half of this chapter, is probably what people would notice and remember. Phinehas, with great zeal, thrusted a spear through a Moabite woman and an Israelite man – and he was commended for it. How violent! By itself it sounds over the top, but we have to look at the big picture, the series of events leading to this.
I still am not able to fully comprehend the seriousness of God when it comes to the things that matter to Him. Or maybe I’m in denial, because once I understand and accept the it, it will require a great commitment on my part.
But it’s there. I feel it. God is working in me, knowing full well my (current) limits. Lord, work in me as you see fit.